Wait, there's a human on the other end?

I received a really nice email recently from a longtime fan and customer:

"I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But, I’ve been following your stuff for a long time now - just wanted to give you a quick congratulations. New site, branding, merchandise looks fantastic. Good work." —Chad

I’ve loved reading all your emails and notes of encouragement on the launch of Ugmonk 2.0, and this is actually a really good example of why I decided to do it in the first place. Not for the accolades, but because I value all of you who have taken an interest in my work. Over the years, I’ve been able to connect with hundreds (probably even thousands) of you one on one via email, social media, or in person at events, but I know there are still thousands of you who have been following Ugmonk and have never had a direct interaction with me, the human behind the brand. So I wanted our new site to reflect my commitment to a transparent and personal experience. I’ve heard people say things like...

“Even though I’ve never met him in person, I feel like I’ve gotten to know Jeff over the years through Ugmonk.”

I think this surprises people sometimes, but Ugmonk has always been a very small company trying to do big things. First-time visitors often assume we have a team of 50 people (comparable to other larger clothing brands), but we intentionally stay small and focus on quality. We’re a team of four with a global customer base. We’re a home-based business shipping products to over 65 countries around the globe. I still personally design every single item that we sell, sitting at the same desk you see in all my office photos. Historically, the larger a company gets, the more disconnected the CEO gets from the customers and product. But the magic of the internet has completely changed that. Now it’s possible to scale a business while still keeping the direct personal connection to you. At times it can be hard to put myself out there as a creator and open myself up to critique, but your encouragement motivates me to keep me going.

Notes like Chad’s are a good reminder of the real people on the opposite side of my computer screen, too.

It’s been fun to connect with so many of you who have been watching from afar all these years. Whether you’re new to Ugmonk or you’ve been following for all 8 years, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to send me a tweet or a quick note. After all, we’re all just humans separated by screens :)